Customer Reviews: Season of Life: A Football Star, a Boy, a Journey to Manhood
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on August 13, 2004
When I first approached this book, I had the initial impression that it would be just another banal "feel-good" book about football. As I began to read the book and reflect upon "Rev. Joe's" messages, I found myself frantically flipping back pages to reread a passage, or see that quote just one more time. What began as a quick afternoon read, developed into a multi-day affair of taking notes, rereading, and reflecting! The format of the book is deceivingly simple; Mr. Marx is able to convey the warm camaraderie of the Gilman Football team in a very moving, very honest lesson about what it means to love and to be compassionate. Far from being commonplace, the powerful lessons of this book will sit well with young men, people struggling in difficult times, or anyone hoping to read an inspiring story.
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on August 5, 2005
Loved SEASON OF LIFE by Jeffrey

Marx . . . it is the author's account of the Gilman High School

football team that is unlike any sports book that I've ever read,

in that it is more about how Gilman's coaches use the game

to teach such principles as love, empathy, integrity and living

a life of service.

The 2001 Gilman Greyhounds did not go undefeated; in fact,

they barely had a winning season (having previously been one

of the top teams in the country) . . . however, their record

was never the important thing.

As the head coach noted when a mother asked him how successful

did he think the boys were going to be, he replied, "I have no

idea. . . . I won't really know how successful they're gonna be till they

come back to visit in twenty years. . . . Then I'll be able to

see what kind of husbands they are. I'll be able to see what kind

of fathers they are. I'll see what they're doing in the community."

Marx often quotes Joe Ehrmann, a former NFL football star and

volunteer Gilman coach . . . now also an ordained minister, Ehrman

devotes his life to teaching the Gilman team the precept of

his Building Men for Others program: Being a man means

emphasizing relationships and having a cause bigger than

yourself. It means accepting responsibility and leading

courageously. In addition, it means players saying "I love you"

to each other and coaches professing their love for their players.

There were several memorable passages; among them:

* [Erhmann] "And I think the second criterion-the only other criterion

for masculinity--Is that all of us ought to have some kind of cause,

some kind of purpose in our lives that's bigger than our own individual

hopes, dreams, wants, and desires. At the end of our life, we ought

to be able to look back over it from our deathbed and know that

somehow the world was a better place because we lived, we loved,

we were other-centered, other-focused."

* "I expect greatness out of you," Biff [Poggi, the head coach] once

told the boys. "And the way we measure greatness is the impact

you make on other people's lives."

* Ultimately, Biff said, the boys would make the greatest overall impact

on the world-would bring the most love and grace and healing to

people-by constantly basing their thoughts and actions on one simple

question: What can I do for you? . . .

"Because in case you haven't noticed yet, we're training you to be

different," Biff said. "If we lose every game of the year, go oh-and-ten

on the football field, as long as we try hard, I don't care. You learn

these lessons, and we're ten-and-oh in the game of life."

Toward the end of the book, there's a thrilling account of Gilman's

last game of the year . . . yet I was even more moved by the

author's last chapter . . . at the conclusion of the season, he visited

his father and took some of the lessons that he had learned during

the season to help revitalize that relationship.
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VINE VOICEon January 2, 2005
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR!! There may not be a more importat issue in todays society. We often talk about how athletics is an important training ground for life. It has been never been better demonstrated than by these coaches and this writer. Mr. Marx follows one season of a very special high school football team and the life lessons the team's coaches impart to their athlete's. This book is special. It should be read by every coach , parent and athlete.
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on August 29, 2004
Saw Joe Ehrman and Jeffrey Marx speak recently at an event in San Diego. Joe Ehrman is one courageous individual, and in addition, he is eloquent, open, and wise. He shared some of his experiences and observations with us, and from his first few words I had tears running down my face. This man has what it takes to heal our society, and boy, does it need it! Jeffrey Marx is a wonderful writer, and he also shares some of the angst this culture shovels out to its males. Almost missed these two, because I didn't want to hear some crap from one of those yelling, demeaning, brutal coaches who are everywhere in sports these days. But I stuck around, and when I saw a clip from HBO which has Coach Ehrman asking the boys: "What is the purpose of a Coach?" and in unison the boys answer "To love us!" my attention was riveted on Coach Ehrman and his wonderful message. Highly recommend this beautifully written book about an extraordinary, courageous, loving man.
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on September 6, 2004
I agree with all of the reviews, save the long one from August 31st - not sure he read the book, but instead chose to write a "biography" (as he perceived it) on Joe, rather than review the book. But anyway... this book is really worth reading, and not just for men, and not just to enhance a father son relationship. This book can help brothers, mothers, sisters, and friends. I think what Joe is teaching is not necessarily how to be a good man, but how to be a good human being. It's really not about football -- it's about how make the world a better place, and make your life, and your relationships more meaningful.
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on October 12, 2004
This book needs to be read by every youth worker and parent in America. Jeffery Marx does a brilliant job of showcasing the ministry of Joe Ehrmann, former NFL Player turned high school coach. Joe's approach to the problems of dysfunctional families and poverty are right on target. I wonder how many people would have heard of Joe had it not been for this book. Jeffery Marx does a great job of not just exposing Joe Ehrmann and his personal journey but also his own struggles with coming to terms with his own father.

One of the best lines in the book is when a parent approaches Joe at the beginning of the high school football season and asks, "What kind of team do you think we'll have this year?" Joe quips, "I guess we'll find out in about 20 years." Ehrmann's approach to coaching is one that should be shared by anyone who coaches young people. We need to be concerned about how our children develop as people and not just players.
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on August 16, 2004
This book is a great read for individuals concerned about coaching youth sports. While it provides real life examples of men coaching a highly successful high school football program, it transcends lessons from the gridiron. It's a valuable tool for any coach. It provides insights for a father to be a role model and better able to connect with their own child or young athletes. An easy read and a great book to obtain quotes from.
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on February 23, 2006
I'm fortunate enough to live in the Baltimore area and have heard Joe Ehrmann speak and preach. Knowing he is a thoroughly captivating speaker, I was eager to see if the book would stand up on its own. It more than does -- Jeffrey Marx is an extremely talented and gifted author and captures not only the detail of the story, but also puts into words the emotions of his own journey. The book takes you on a season-long journey with a high school football team and how they are taught to love one another, first and foremost. I was extremely curious how this would be taught within the physicality of football. This is a must read for all coaches, regardless of sport. I have been able to discuss some of the principles in the book with my 8 year old son and 7 year old daughter and I can already see the change in their thinking and behaviors.

In today's "Me, Me, Me" society, this book is a must read to shift our focus from our own self-centered wants and desires to others needs. I've already bought 3 copies and will undoubtedly buy 10 more. Thank you and happy reading -- I hope the book will inspire you as much as it did me.
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on August 21, 2004
Not only have I read this book but I was able to go to a seminar that had Jeffrey Marx and Joe Ehrmann as guest speakers. Joe's life story is one that every person should read. Not just Fathers or Coaches. Everyone can learn from this book. I feel blessed to have heard their story in person and then blessed to be given the gift of this book. I have gained so much wisdom and more love from my children by using these methods. I have two boys of my own and as a mother, I needed help in raising two boys to become "Men built for others."
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on August 29, 2004
Read the book in one sitting. The lessons are for all.Western culture has not helped the maturity of males.This book goes a long way to assist boys in bettering themselves and the world around them. I played High school football with Joe Ehrman and followed his career. After reading this book I have never been prouder of my friend.
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